One phenomenon businesses and business owners experience is called “hitting the wall”. Hitting the wall is when our business seems to be stuck in neutral. This may occur when our sales stop growing, sales take a step backward, or possibly our creative juices have ebbed.
Don’t worry; it’s not the end of the world! It is however, time to get up and take action.
You might be thinking; Dirk, what the heck do you think I have been doing, sitting on the couch eating bon bons and watching soaps?
If you have been implementing some of the ideas I have been writing about; you have the solution at your fingertips.
I was visiting with the owner of a wonderful upscale restaurant in Houston. We were talking about his business and how he came through the tough times between 2008 and today, unscathed. The owner started laughing as he began to tell me that he almost had to close the business a couple of years ago.
I asked him how he survived. Did he go to the bank and borrow more money, or did he take on additional investors? The answer was a resounding, “Neither”. Now this gentleman had my undivided attention.
The restaurant owner started telling me in detail how he scaled the wall and, not only saved his business, but started growing his business again. As he began his story, I was reminded of something I read or heard some years ago; “If money is your only problem, then you have no problems”. The takeaway here is, you need to make sure that money IS your only problem, not quality, service, or a host of other problems that are keeping your customers away. His restaurant is known for excellent food, fantastic service, elegant ambience, and fair pricing.
Now, his solution … and quite possibly, your solution.
For years this owner has been building lasting relationships with his customers by “giving first and expecting nothing in return”. He was not giving away free food, he was giving of himself. He befriended many of his customers when they were going through tough times and when he needed help they stepped up and helped him. How did this happen? He picked up the phone and started calling his customers. He explained to them that if it was possible, he would like to invite them to come back to the restaurant to dine. He also told them he was going through a tough time and their support would help. As a result of the personal relationships, the natural law of reciprocity came full circle. I am so pleased to report that his restaurant is alive and doing well!
Build lasting relationships by “giving first and expecting nothing in return” and your business can grow regardless of what the current economic climate may be.
Don’t allow yourself to continue to “hit the wall”! Go talk to the people in your network!
About Our Show Advisor: Dirk Cummins is the State Director of Texas and the Past President of the MainStreetChamber Houston. Dirk is an advocate of the MainStreetChamber philosophy of “Give First and Expect Nothing In Return”. Dirk, a serial entrepreneur, reaches out to small businesses every day to help them grow their businesses by creating revenues where none existed before. Dirk is also a practicing financial consultant who attended the University of Virginia at Quantico, Virginia while serving in the United States Marine Corps. He is a CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT® (ChFC®), and has completed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) certification curriculum. Dirk is also a CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST™ (CDFA™). Dirk's areas of specialization include business and individual planning. Dirk's professional career began in 1974 in his hometown of Canton, Ohio. In 1978 he accepted a position with Lineberry Financial Group and relocated to Houston. He has held various positions within the financial services industry prior to starting his own firm. Dirk has been involved with numerous volunteer groups and is currently serving as the President of the MainStreetChamber Houston Chapter and State Director for the MainStreetChamber. He has also served on the Advisory Board for the Academy of Finance at Spring Branch ISD and on the Pro Bono Committee for the Financial Planning Association Houston chapter. He has also served as Past President of the Crossroads Chapter of Services Cooperative Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He has also served as an Advisory Board member of the Entrepreneurial Development Center and a member of the Board of Directors of Women Achieving Independence & Financial Success. He was a Republican Party Precinct Chair in Harris County, and an Election Judge in Harris County.